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How many Residency interviews are online in 2023?

Medical Residency Application & Interview Preparation Specialists

Whilst we don’t have data on the exact number of Residency interviews that will be online versus in-person for the latest cycle, we can look at the general trend to draw some conclusions on whether it is likely your interviews will be virtual or not.

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AAMC Guidance

The first consideration is recent AAMC guidance. Per the AAMC, and drawing on the results of a study from Donahue et al published in the Journal of Graduate Medical Education, virtual interviews ‘improve equity by eliminating a substantial portion of the cost of application and by opening opportunities for applicants who may have otherwise declined an interview invitation due to financial constraints.’ Additionally, the AAMC outlines that virtual interviews make scheduling easier, reduce the amount of time taken away from clinical rotations, and reduce applicants’ stress and anxiety regarding the process. Interviewing also reduces the cost or strain on resources on the program-side as well. Meanwhile, a lower commitment in terms of time from faculty may mean that more members are willing to help with the interview process than otherwise would be. Of course, the AAMC also highlights that a virtual interview is far more environmentally responsible.

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Results of AAMC Guidance

As a result of the guidance from the AAMC, many specialties have committed to using virtual interviews – including emergency medicine, general surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology, ophthalmology, and otolaryngology. However, in the end it remains individual programs that will make the decision, despite the advice from council members.

In one study it was found that the majority of orthopaedic programs were planning on using in-person interviews before AAMC and hospital guidelines were released (60.5% answering positively), which changed to 65.8% planning to use virtual interviews after the release of the guidelines. Nonetheless, 47.8% of PDs were against virtual interviews, with only 39.4% in favour of them. PDs agree that virtual interviews’ disadvantages would include favouring students from home institutions or top-tier applicants. The vast majority of PDs (88%) felt that a hybrid interview process would disadvantage those who chose the virtual interview option – which betrays that they are indeed likely to choose those who attend in-person, and as such does raise serious question marks over this style of interviewing.

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